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January 2006

But Where Will The Building Go?

To only add to the flury of news coming from East Hill this week, it was announced today by both the Sun and the Cornell News Service that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has pledged $25 million to a new building dedicated solely for the computing and information sciences.

This is great news, especially in light of the fact that the building is directly linked to an initiative aimed at integrating the computing/information sciences across a wide range of disciplines - including not just the physical and biological sciences, but also the humanities and social sciences. Great stuff going on. My only question is: where is this building going to go?

Matthew Nagowski | January 26, 2006 (#) (0)

The New 'Bailey Plaza'

Cornell is planning a "walkway and open space" in front of the under-renovation Bailey Hall.

And thanks to the new West Campus lot, they won't have to worry about turning precious parking space into well-manicured greenery-and-bluestone landscaping. This is like reparations for Redbud!

Andy Guess | January 26, 2006 (#) (0)

Tuition Rising (Yet Again)

Amid the news of the Skorton appointment, students and parents alike may have missed out on the announcement that tuition is set to rise yet again:

the University Board of Trustees approved a 4.8 percent tuition increase during the 2006-07 school year for the endowed colleges last weekend. The approved measures also include a five percent increase for New York State residents and non-residents who are first through third year students and a 5.2 percent increase for non-resident fourth year students.
Although the Sun article doesn't mention any dollar signs, this means an $868 increase for the in-state contract colleges and a whopping $1510 increase for the endowed undergraduate units.

Matthew Nagowski | January 23, 2006 (#)

Scarves Redux

A response from the Cornell Store:

Dear Matthew,

Thank you for the inquiry on Cornell lamb wool scarves. We do sell
Cornell scarves here but they are not made of lambs wool. I am very
sorry to disappoint you. I would be very happy to tell the clothing
buyer that people are interested in lambs wool scarves but I cant
promise you that we will get them.

The Cornell Store

Matthew Nagowski | January 23, 2006 (#)

Cornell's New Prez

Initial thoughts on the announcement that Cornell's 12th president will be David Skorton:

  • Wow -- they paid how much to a search firm to give us another president from Iowa? Other than that, I can't really pass judgment. He seems to have impeccable management credentials, which is what the trustees seemed to believe President Lehman lacked.
  • There's now no question what the trustees have in mind for Cornell's future. Skorton has masterminded a large capital campaign and -- somewhat unique for a Cornell president -- he is a scientist. I see no better way to send a message that Cornell wants to bolster its reputation as a top scientific research institution. My only question is whether that comes at the expense of our uneven, faltering humanities departments. If Skorton's impressive jazz accomplishments mean anything, though, there may be hope.
  • On the other hand, I wonder if I'm not being cynical enough. Skorton is the perfect man to move Cornell toward being a top-notch scientific institution -- and who better to accomplish this than someone with surface humanities credentials (being a jazz musician)? Did the trustees realize that this concession to the arts would make their overall agenda all the more palatable (or easier to slip past the faculty)?

Andy Guess | January 22, 2006 (#) (0)

Cornell's 12th President

While the press conference is going on in Ithaca, here are some thoughts about the appointment of David J. Skorton as Cornell's 12th President...

The choice of Skorton is an obvious attempt to strengthen fundraising for the University's life-sciences initiative. Lehman's 'vision' wasn't reverberating with potential donors, and in Skorton the trustee's obviously hope that a doctor and research scientist will be able to better connect with the large wallets.

That the University again chose a white man to lead its students and faculty is disappointing and troubling. Many of Cornell's peer institutions have had a woman or minority president (Princeton, Brown, Penn) as of recent, and all have performed admirably on the job. One wonders if the Presidential Search Committee even took Cornell's commitment to diversity seriously when searching for Cornell's 12th President.

One cannot help but wonder how much attention the arts, humanities, and social sciences will get under Skorton's reign. These areas have traditionally not received the attention that they deserve from the University, and Skorton's appointment seems ripe for developing the life sciences and strengthening the bond between the Medical School and the Life Sciences in Ithaca... but little else.

As with all of the past presidents of Cornell, only time will tell if Skorton is the right man for the job. While Skorton has the experience of leading a large public research university under his belt - which is more than what Lehman had coming into the job - being the President of Cornell University may be one of the toughest jobs in all of academia. It requires a careful balance of public and private interests, appeasing the politicians in Albany, catering to a group of narrow-minded alumni, juggling the interests of 14 fiercely independent and self-interested colleges and schools, and respecting the interests of an activist minded student body... to not even mention being the intellectual leader of one of the most prestigious and important universities in the world.

Matthew Nagowski | January 21, 2006 (#) (0)

Ithaca Is Cold, Afterall

I have always felt that the Cornell Store does not offer the greatest selection of Cornell-themed gifts and merchandise. The sweatshirt logos and tie designs always seemed vaguely uninspired and do little or nothing to capture the stature or importance of Ezra's Universirty.

Yet, just recently I realized that the Cornell Store is missing an entire product line that would be invaluable to improving the image of the University: scarves.

Perhaps I may just have a skewed perspective on this matter, having attended Lady Margaret Hall, which is a part of the very scarf-friendly University of Oxford, or now residing very near to the crimson scarf infested Harvard, but I feel that every college or university should have a scarf with which undergaduates can use to keep warm. The Ithaca climate kind of requires one, doesn't it?

But all the Cornell Store offers is this half-hearted 'Women's Scarf' - which I would not want to be seen wearing out in public.

Matthew Nagowski | January 19, 2006 (#)

Other Recent Posts

-- WSJ: Cornell Wins NYC Tech Campus Bid (EBilmes)

-- Barrier Update: City Approves Nets (DJost)

-- Big Red Cymbal Guy (Nagowski)

-- New York Times Survey on Campus Recruiting is Flawed (KScott)

-- Barrier Update: Legal precedent suggests City of Ithaca will not be held liable for gorge suicide (DJost)

-- Despite MSG Loss, Big Potential for Big Red Hockey (EBilmes)

-- City Council Will Vote on Suicide Nets (DJost)

-- An Encounter on the Upper East Side (Nagowski)

-- Showing Off Your School Spirit (Nagowski)

-- Chipotle Ithaca? (KScott)

-- Cornell at the ING NYC Marathon (KScott)

-- Crossing Over a Fine Line: Commercial Activity on Campus (KScott)

-- Milstein's Downfall (Nagowski)

-- Can any Cornell-associated organization really be independent of the University? (Nagowski)

-- Slope Media Revisited (EBilmes)

-- Slope Media Group Approved for Byline Funding (KScott)

-- Occupy AEM? (KScott)

-- New campus pub to be good for both Greeks and non-Greeks (Nagowski)

-- Gagging the Election (Nagowski)

-- The Changing Structure of Rush Week (Nagowski)

-- Ivy League Humility in the Midwest (EBilmes)

-- Of Median Grades and Economics Minors (Nagowski)

-- Homecoming Recap (Nagowski)

-- My Cornell Bookshelf (Nagowski)

-- The Sun's Opinion Section Has Suddenly Gotten Good (Nagowski)

-- Remembering the 11th (Nagowski)

-- Cornellian Tapped as Top Economic Advisor (Nagowski)

-- Cutting Pledging, and the Good Which Comes With It (EBilmes)

-- Why Cornell Should Not Close Fall Creek Gorge (Nagowski)

-- Welcome to the Class of 2015 (Nagowski)